NOVA Center for the Performing Arts -- Billings, Montana

The Giver Spotlight: Director Dawn Carter

Dawn Carter Image

1. Tell me a little about yourself. Have you always wanted to direct plays, in particular youth productions?
Theater has been a part of my life since I was a kid. I first experienced Venture Theatre in a garage on Central Avenue; I became hooked immediately. I was the kid that did every show and every class I possibly could. It helped me become a more confident, comfortable me and taught me life skills that I still use today. So yes, having grown up in the Youth Conservatory, I am particularly passionate about teaching youth and love the opportunity to work with them any chance I get!

2. Why did you choose to direct The Giver?
I jumped on the opportunity!! I have been passionate about this story ever since I read it in 6th grade. Lois Lowry is one of my favorite authors, The Giver is a story worth telling.

3. What is the message you want to give this audience?
As I have told the kids, the best theater is the kind that asks more questions than gives answers and this is that kind of story. So my hope is that the audience leaves asking great questions.

4. What was it like to work with an entirely youth cast?
I actually had the option to cast adults in the show but I specifically chose to keep it an entirely youth cast. Young actors have an honesty and vulnerability about them that can affect an audience in powerful ways. It’s hard for me to not want to be a part of that.

5. What has your favorite moment been so far?
My favorite moment so far has been watching Jonas and The Giver rehearse their scene for the first time. It was magical to watch their hard work pay off as they brought the characters to life.

6. The Giver has some very serious issues, how has the cast dealt with some of these topics?
At first they may have tried to make light of some of the more uncomfortable situations but I have watched them grow and get better at dealing with them. We talk it out and process it together, they all know they have my support at any moment. They truly are an incredible group of kids, and we as adults need to not underestimate them.

7. This is NOVA’s first season, what are you most looking forward to?
I am most looking forward to working alongside my almost husband, Daniel Nickerson. He is already doing a fantastic job as the Nova Youth Conservatory Director and I believe in his vision 100%. We have a great time pouring into the kids together.
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NOVA Center for the Performing Arts  -  2317 Montana Avenue - Billings, MT 59101
PO Box 11
Billings, MT 59103
Phone: 406-591-9535

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